Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today the sale of a Bell 429 and an order for two Bell 505 Jet Ranger X™ helicopters to Saudi Arabian aircraft operator and authorized Independent Representative (IR), Wallan Aviation. The Bell 429 will be configured for general/utility missions and has an expected delivery date of March 2015. The Bell 505 aircraft will be used for training and corporate transport missions.
“With this agreement, I feel Wallan Aviation is making an investment in the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Saad Wallan, chairman of Wallan Aviation. “There is a need for vertical lift in the Kingdom, for tasks such as traffic control, border protection, training and VIP transport. We want to be able to provide the ideal solution.”
“Bell Helicopter makes excellent products, backed by award-winning customer support, and we are honored to represent the company,” Wallan continued. “We chose the Bell 429 because of its advanced features and performance capabilities in the hot conditions of the Middle East. Meanwhile, the new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X provides true multi-mission capability in extreme environments at a very competitive price.”
The agreements were announced today at the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) exposition, the Middle East’s largest business aviation event, held at Dubai World Central, UAE.
“There is considerable customer interest in the Middle East for the Bell 429 and Bell 505, and MEBA gives the region a chance to see these aircraft up close,” said Steve Suttles, managing director and vice president of Middle East and African sales. “We are delighted Wallan Aviation has selected these versatile helicopters and anticipate many more customer enquiries in the region.”
The Bell 429 is one of the most advanced light twin helicopters ever developed, offering a fully integrated glass cockpit with advanced drive system and best-in-class WAAS navigation and IFR capability. Additional safety features include a collective mounted throttle, damage tolerant hub and rotor system, and energy attenuating seats. It is the first helicopter certified through the MSG-3 process, resulting in reduced maintenance costs for operators.
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is a customer-driven design, blending the proven systems of the Bell 206 with advanced technology and a sleek, modern design. The Bell 505 places safety, performance and affordability at its forefront. The Garmin G1000H Integrated Avionics Suite provides pilots critical flight information at a glance to maximize situational awareness. Pilot workload is further reduced by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine with dual channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). The Bell 505 features a high-inertia rotor system delivering superior autorotation capabilities. With the ideal combination of speed, range and useful load, the Jet Ranger X is designed to deliver best-in-class performance.
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